Kelan gets emotional over Dubstep: Tangled Parrot CIRCA 2006/2007

Kelan is an event promoter, DJ and student of Media and Cultural Studies at Bristol UWE. He has a regular slot on Passion Radio every Wednesday between 12pm - 2pm and is one of the few DJs still playing all vinyl in his sets. His passion for bass music culture is apparent throughout his music collection and has great knowledge of the much talked about genre Dubstep. Here he reminisces over the Dubstep wonder years at our local record shop Tangled Parrot and picks 10 tracks that really changed his musical horizon.

Kelan is part of the roots, reggae, dancehall unit Eardrops.

At the age of 14 my life seemed pretty dull, I wasn’t quite old enough to pretend I was 18 and attend club events at the Waterside or the Jolly Tar (Carmarthen’s two venue’s that took pride in not just hosting the same old shit). I had recently been chucked out of a band that when listening back, were also pretty dull. Naturally I began looking for something which could fill up my glum teenage years. Hidden down a dark and often windy lane in my tiny little hometown, remained the place I would hide away from the usual troubles of teenage life and also develop a new interest and hobby, this place was called Tangled Parrot.

I initially began shopping in Tangled Parrot because I was amazed by all the Punk and Metal albums they stocked and the fact that with each record I bought I would be recommended about 10 other artists to check out. This was at a time when I did not have my own computer and only got to use the internet on very rare occasions, so an outlet like this held great importance.

Around the same time I got kicked out of my band I had began growing an interest in electronic music, as this was a whole new dimension for me I merely listened to what I could get my hands on, most of which were burnt drum and bass cd’s that my sister sent me during her time as an art student in London, this would soon change. At this same point in time in school life, we had to choose somewhere to do a weeks worth of work experience. Since all I was really interested in at the time was underground music, I decided to ask the owner of Tangled Parrot if I could work for him for a week.

There are so many great things I could say about Matt Davies the owner of Tangled Parrot but all I need to say here is that he is someone who is wholeheartedly devoted to pushing interesting and forward thinking music. One of the days out of my week long stint of work experience at Tangled Parrot I noticed a record in the new releases section, the cover had a pasty faced young man, who didn’t look much older than myself on the front and had the word ‘Skream!’ in bold yellow letters written across it. I remember thinking at the time that this looked punk as fuck due to the fact that it looked like (and was) something that was made by people of my age and in a bedroom. Matt then went on to explain that the record was part of the ‘Dubstep’ genre and that he predicted in a few years the genre was going to be massive. This intrigued me and I soon saved up and bought a cheap pair of belt drive decks and as much Dubstep as I could get my hands on and went from band boy to full time Dubstepper almost overnight.

Matt specialised in Dubstep up until the point it became fully commercialised, weekly stocking everything from DMZ to more obscure bits off labels like Hyperdub and Skull Disco. There was a select few of us who knew what day the Dubstep records would be delivered to the shop and we would all rush to get our favourite releases before anyone else did. On non-delivery days you would find me in the back of the shop, going through the Dubstep Infantry, catching up on the bits I missed.

Here are 10 of my favorite Dubstep purchases from my all time favourite record shop… most of these come with me wherever I am playing and are some of my most cherished items. Some of these might seem like pretty obvious choices, some not so obvious, that’s not what’s important, its more the fact they all sum up a certain point in my life. These are just the 10 that come to mind, there are several others I could have chosen…

Shackleton – Blood On My Hands (Skull Disco)

Mala – Changes (Deep Medi Musik)

Ikonika – Please (HyperDub)

Burial – Untrue (Hyperdub LP)

Peverelist – Roll With The Punches (Punch Drunk)

Pinch – Punisher (Planet Mu)

Headhunter – Prototype (Tempa)

Appleblim and Peverelist – Circling (Skull Disco)

Skream – Skream LP (Tempa)

Gemmy – Bk to the Future (Punch Drunk)

That’s my 10 picks, now why not get down to Tangled Parrot and find out what is hidden there for you…

You can catch Kelan playing an eclectic bass music set at this years Old Town Festival after party on 22nd June at The Parrot Music Bar.

Facebook page for the Parrot Music Bar (record store upstairs)